Mountain biodiversity


Mountains loom large in some of the world’s most spectacular landscapes.
Their unique topography, compressed climatic zones and isolation have created the conditions for a wide spectrum of life forms.

Half of the world’s biodiversity hotspots are concentrated in mountains and mountains support approximately one-quarter of terrestrial biological diversity. Mountains are home to rare species of plants and animals. These include increasingly rare animals such as gorillas, mountain lions, and the majestic tahr or strikingly beautiful plants such as orchids and lobelias.

A large portion of the world's most precious gene pools (for agriculture and medicine) are preserved in mountains. Crops that are important for food security, such as maize, potatoes, barley, sorghum, tomatoes, beans and apples, have been diversified in mountains and an array of domestic animals - sheep, goats, yaks, llamas and alpacas - have originated or been diversified in mountains. Other crops, such as wheat, rye, rice, oats and grapes, have found new homes in the mountains and evolved into many varieties. Coffee and tea, with their roots in Ethiopia and the Himalayan region, are mountain crops as well. Medicinal plants are one of the most valuable resources from high altitudes. This rich biodiversity holds cultural, ecological and economic value. In the Andes, for example, farmers know of as many as 200 different varieties of indigenous potatoes and, in Nepal, they farm approximately 2 000 varieties of rice.

Climate change, poverty, commercial mining, logging and poaching all exact a heavy toll on mountain biodiversity. The sustainable management of mountain biodiversity has increasingly been recognized as a global priority. The Convention on Biological Diversity adopted a Programme of Work on Mountain Biological Diversity in 2004, which includes a set of actions and targets addressing characteristics and problems that are specific to mountain ecosystems. 

 

Fifth Global Meeting of the Mountain Partnership

Fifth Global Meeting of the Mountain Partnership

event

The Fifth Global Meeting of the Mountain Partnership (MP) will take place 21-22 October in Mbale, Uganda. This Global Meeting, three years after the last one, which took place in Erzurum, Turkey, will provide members with an opportunity to discuss delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals, which include three mountain-related targets,...

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Group for sustainable Himalayan development

Group for sustainable Himalayan development

news

In a bid to mobilize support and commitment to regional cooperation for sustainable mountain development, the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) Partnership for Sustainable Mountain Development was endorsed by ministers and high-level government representatives from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan and...

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Submissions for UN report on mountains

Submissions for UN report on mountains

news

The Mountain Partnership Secretariat (MPS) is currently compiling summaries of the most important results of mountain development activities since July 2013 for the United Nations Secretary General (UNSG) Report on Sustainable Mountain Development.

Now requested every three years, the MPS and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations,...

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Summer course to focus on managing mountain resources

Summer course to focus on managing mountain resources

peak to peak

 Issue 91 – Month 4 – Year 2016

The April issue of Peak to Peak reveals that this year’s IPROMO course will focus on managing mountain resources and diversities – the role of protected areas, in Ormea, Italy, in July. The newsletter also shares calls for mountain-related...

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Our Journey in 2015: Mountain Partnership Secretariat Annual Report

Our Journey in 2015: Mountain Partnership Secretariat Annual Report

publication

The Mountain Partnership Secretariat (MPS) outlines its key achievements in promoting sustainable mountain development (SMD) in its 2015 annual report. The annual report describes the Secretariat’s work in advocacy, communication and knowledge management, promoting International Mountain Day, brokering joint action and leading capacity development initiatives. One of the its most...

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Restoring wisents to the Carpathians

Restoring wisents to the Carpathians

news

The situation of wisent (European Bison – Bison bonasus), the largest terrestrial mammal on the continent, is far from secure. After centuries of habitat loss and degradation and severe poaching resulted in the near-extinction of wisents in Europe, efforts have been underway to restore this great species to the Carpathian...

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